Skip to content

Jesselton Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

Our rating: Medium

The Jesselton opened in 1954 as the first hotel in Kota Kinabalu and was named after the city's original name by the then British Governor. Until Sabah's independence in 1963, the Jesselton was the discerning choice for visitors and many prominent figures such as Lady Mountbatten passed through during these times. The hotel is now Kota Kinabalu's only boutique property and the colonial style is still retained in parts, such as the grand piano in the Mountbatten Lounge and old prints of the city in the halls.

With just 32 rooms it retains a personal feel and although it does not have extensive facilities such as a pool due to its small size, the Bella Italia Restaurant is well priced (and a change from the Malaysian buffet food available in most jungle/island lodges) and the hotel serves a good a la carte breakfast. The Deluxe rooms are recommended as they are much larger than the Superior rooms and are perfectly comfortable for a few nights stay in the city. The location cannot be bettered if you would like to explore the city, shops and restaurants are right on your doorstep and if you are here on a Sunday morning the lively Gaya Street Fair is right outside.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Ashley

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our Borneo specialists

Photos of Jesselton Hotel

Kota Kinabalu itinerary suggestions

Nearby accommodation

Nearby places

Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    • Rooftop Pool, Grandis Hotel, Kota Kinabalu

      Grandis Hotel

      Medium

      The Grandis hotel is one of the newest hotels in the city. Located towards the north of the city by the Jessleton Jetty, and connected to one of the newest shopping malls the hotel is in a great location for exploring the city.

    • Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu

      Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort

      First Class

      The Tanjung Aru is well located just outside of Kota Kinabalu. All the rooms offer the usual range of facilities and amenities that you would expect from a 5-star property.

    • Aerial View, Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu

      Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa

      First Class

      Nestled between forested hills and a long sweep of pristine beach, the Rasa Ria is a large, stylish hotel set next to a lush nature reserve.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • North Borneo Railway excursion

      North Borneo steam locomotive day trip

      Kota Kinabalu

      Enjoy the unique sights and sounds of local villages, paddy fields, mangrove jungle and pristine coastal beaches as you while away a leisurely day in comfort.

    • Female orangutan, Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Malaysian Borneo

      The Orangutan sancturary at Sepilok

      Kota Kinabalu

      The center rehabilitates orphaned orangutans and those that have been held in captivity. It's set amidst dense jungle and you can take a walk into the jungle to see them in their natural environment.